Who’s the Big Winner?!

Mikey’s the Big Winner!!

SwingersThanks espn.go.com

That’s right, ladies and gentleman…

I came.  I saw.  I commented.  I won… A blog contest.

In particular I won some rocking chicken art from the very talented Sarah Hudock of Lighthearted Art thanks to a contest sponsored by Tilly’s Nest, one of the most informative and entertaining chicken-centric sites out there.  Seriously, if you haven’t been reading… you need to be.

Just don’t expect to win this.  It recently arrived and is already complementing my coop.


Sarah’s art is perfect for sprucing up anything – inside or out – as her tin easily wipes off and resists the weather.  Since this  beautiful piece has a little bit of a feminine flair, I figured our girls would love it.

To digress for a second…

One challenge I’m constantly working on is making sure I work in plenty of Beauty into my designs.  My Engineering-programmed brain wants to only focus on functionality and efficiency.  That’s fine for maximizing production out of Permaculture principles, but is only one side of the coin.  There’s no reason systems can’t look great, while they produce great.  So I’m getting better.  For example, when I recently planted the beds in front of the Shade Trellis for our coop, I put a few companion plants next to the grapevines. There are several possibilities for deterring grape leaf munching pests, but I chose geraniums.  No reason a good looking flower can’t do that job.

Anyway, for too long the DIY coop I built just looked like this:


Now the girls have a little something welcoming them back inside when it’s time to lay my breakfast.


If you need to add a little beauty to your coop, or kitchen, go check out Sarah and her store at ChickenArt.com.  I’m sure you’ll find something you or your ladies can’t live without.


Question of the Day: Do you decorate your coop?  Give me the run down.

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14 comments on “Who’s the Big Winner?!
  1. Melissa says:

    Looks great! Love the sign and the coop!

  2. Congratulations!
    I keep hoping to win one of her lovely signs, rather than upsetting my hubby with yet another ‘purchase’ on behalf of the chickens.
    So, yes I decorate the inside of the chicken coop with fresh flowers placed in an old metal watering can. Smells wonderful. I also have two metal hanging flower containers that I place dried lavender in order to keep the coop smelling pleasant.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Avis! Fresh flowers are a great idea. I have two hanging flower window baskets I’m going to install… but that will be on the outside of the coop. I do cut a few fresh herbs to put in our nest boxes now and then. Other than that, the inside of the coop is rather utilitarian, since no one can see it. I’ll need to work on that.

  3. Sarah Hudock says:

    Bless your nest indeed Mike! Thanks so much for the awesomely kind words, and I hope you enjoy your sign for many years to come! 🙂

  4. Vickie says:

    Wow – now your coop looks beautiful – and functional. I am jealous, I wanted to win that sign. And you are right, Tilly’s Nest is a wonderful blog all about chickens. I have learned so much from that blog! Congratulations on your win!
    Vickie recently posted…Harvesting RosemaryMy Profile

  5. Cutest little coop ever.

    Zone variances don’t allow me to have chickens where I live. (Go figure, no chix in suburbia, oh well.) But maybe they’ll change their minds.

    Congrats on winning. I won a book on a blog. But you win is better than mine. Cool.

    • Mike says:

      You might have some luck approaching city council. There is a growing swell of people who are interested in keeping chickens and local laws are getting repealed this year faster than any previous year.

      I give talks around our area on keeping chickens (one is tomorrow night in fact), and we spend some time talking about local laws. Some tried and true tactics when approaching lawmakers are:

      — Detail specific health benefits of backyard pastured eggs compared to industrial, CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation) eggs.

      — Detail specific environmental problems caused by the inhumane CAFOs, and how 3 backyard chickens can immensely help improve your soil or garden.

      — Ask ahead of time (or use a Freedom of Information Act request) to obtain the number of noise and nuisance violations for dogs over the last year in your suburb. This can be even better if you have a neighboring town that allows chickens. Get their number of violations for dogs and chickens and compare. A small flock with no rooster is very quiet. What soft noise they do make, most people find “quaint”.

      — Find the cutest (and bravest) little seven year old kiddo you can, have them go to the meeting and say something like, “Mister, all I want is a couple pets in my backyard. My mommy and me have studied a lot how to take care of them. They don’t smell bad. They don’t make any noise. They don’t bite anyone. Why are you saying I’m not allowed to keep my pets?”

      OK, so that last one might be a little devious, but I love it. 🙂

      I also have a small section in my talk about just how quiet hens usually are, how little space they need, how easy it is to camouflage a coop, and how grateful neighbors are for a half dozen eggs handed over the fence now and then. So long as the neighbors are cool, it’s not like there’s drones flying overhead looking for coops (yet). 🙂 I never say :civil disobedience:, but sometimes that’s how hearts and minds get changed.

      Not sure how interested you might be in trying to get laws changed. If not so much, please forgive the above novel. If you are, feel free to drop me a line if I can help you form an argument or anything. We’re about to do exactly this with one neighboring city as the City Manager seems sympathetic and just says she doesn’t think there’s enough interest.

      Good luck!

  6. Ann says:

    Ooh, I never thought about lobbying council for chickens! Cool! I wonder if a raccoon could/would take down a chicken?
    Ann recently posted…A bonbon bonanza – soursop ice creamMy Profile

    • Mike says:

      Raccoons are nasty buggers and one of the worst chicken predators… at least in our area. They dig, they tear weak structures apart, they grab chickens through large-holed fencing and chicken wire.

      Nasty buggers.

      Raccoons are our biggest worry at night. Roaming neighborhood pet dogs during the day.

      Chickens need security, especially at night.

  7. What a lovely coop! I definitely like the run that is tall enough to stand in.
    Amy@TenthAcreFarm.com recently posted…What if you can’t grow all of your food?My Profile

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Amy. Having the coop large enough to stand in definitely makes it much easier to work with the birds. We use the Deep Litter Method, and removing all that once or twice a year is by far the majority of the labor and takes an hour or so… the height really helps there.

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